In an effort to counter negative attention piling on the city, local artists and business owners collaborated for an event Thursday night, culminating in the premiere of a documentary film entitled "Warren The Re-Telling."
A crowd of people poured into the Hippodrome's third floor banquet room for the free showing of the film, put together by Clear Choice Creative.
Company representatives called the goal of the project to "shine a light" on the positives in Warren instead of focusing on the problems.
"We were just really sick of all the negativity that surrounded the city," video manager Brad Kolasinski said. "We wanted to do what we could to change that."
The documentary, which includes interviews with about 60 people, from local politicians and business leaders to artists and residents, comes about two weeks after the city made headlines after a series of shootings.
Bobbette Cicchillo, who is originally from Warren but now lives in Bristolville, called the gathering "exactly what the city needs." She attended the showing with her husband, Jim.
Tribune Chronicle / Ashley Newman
Attendees view the documentary “Warren The Re-Telling” on Thursday night at the Hippodrome in downtown Warren. The free premiere showing of the film, which was put together by Clear Choice Creative, was done in conjunction with other local businesses and artists.
"The turnout is wonderful," Cicchillo said. "My husband and I own properties in downtown Warren and it's great to see the city in a positive light."
Tim Drummond, owner of Artistics Silk Screening in downtown Warren, appears in the documentary and said he's committed to the community. He called the event, which also included an art gallery and local musicians, a good first step to getting out a more positive message.
"It gets everybody together," Drummond said. "Everybody wants to see the city doing well and this gets everyone on the same page. To see events like this happening may inspire someone else in the community."
Drummond also contributed to the event by creating "Warren Strong" t-shirts, which were being sold by vendors at the Hippodrome and will be available at Artistics for $10 each.
"With all the stuff that's been going on, we think it's important and the message on the t-shirts kind of fall in line with movie," he said.
Many local city officials were in attendance at the show, including Mayor Doug Franklin who was presented with a portrait done by local artist Aaron Chine just before the premiere.
"We have great parks, historical buildings and schools, but the real Warren and the soul of this city is with each and every person in this room," Franklin said. "We're here to celebrate Warren as it truly is. That's what it is to be a community.
"We may recognize that, while our city may not be perfect, but by the efforts by everyone in this room, we are a great city," he said.
"To those who question our commitment that the true testament and character of a city is how a community responds to adversity," Franklin said. "For those who only see the problems in the city, those that think the glory days are behind us and locked in the past, I challenge them to join every person in this room and create a new future.
"As mayor, I see a lot of great things happening in the community and this is one of them," he continued.